Residents talk property takings, noise from new Sagamore Bridge
The state expects to take private properties for the new Bourne and Sagamore bridges — but exactly which properties may not be finalized until 2025.
First, the proposed road layout around the bridges — which includes multiple alternatives — will undergo state and federal environmental review.
Bryan Cordeiro, project manager for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, discussed the upcoming steps in a public information session Wednesday.
“We're looking at being able to advance with the right-of-way process sometime in, like, early 2025 ... but we're also going to strive to make contact with property owners sooner,” he said.
The state expects to launch the environmental review with a notification form to be published in May in the state’s Environmental Monitor, a publication that provides notice of new projects.
MassDOT and consulting engineers gave a presentation Wednesday focused on the roadway connections around the Sagamore Bridge. A meeting last week focused on the Bourne Bridge.
The state has ruled out locations for both bridges that would have partially overlapped the old locations. Instead, the twin spans at each location will be built fully beside the old ones.
In the case of the Sagamore Bridge, which will be built west of the old bridge, engineering consultant Dave Anderson said the chosen location will minimize the effect on a densely populated neighborhood to the east, by Marconi Street.
If that area were affected, “the houses are just spaced very close together, so the impacts become greater, and it's a longer distance [where houses are near the road],” he said.
Instead, a smaller neighborhood to the west, the Cecilia Terrace area, will be most affected.
Anderson said using the overlap option would not have made much of an improvement for Cecilia Terrace.
One resident asked if sound barriers will be built for nearby homes, including those at the end of Adams Street, which dead-ends at Route 6.
Cordeiro said the answer will depend on federal noise regulations.
Another resident noted that the bicycle and pedestrian path will be moved to the west side of the Sagamore Bridge instead of its current location on the east side, and expressed concern about connecting to local neighborhoods and businesses to the east.
As in past meetings, participants asked pointed questions about whether the bridges will actually make traffic better — and if they allow traffic to move more freely, whether that will bring more vehicles to Cape Cod.
Planners say the number of vehicles coming over the new bridges will be controlled by the capacity of local roads, but at the same time, they say the bridges will be designed to improve traffic.
“We are continuing to do our analysis to understand what the future volume projections will be,” said consulting traffic engineer Alex Siu. “But making improvements to the bridges will allow easier crossing, to handle the existing traffic.”
Cordeiro said the state will evaluate whether the new bridges would increase demand for travel.
MassDOT plans to hold an in-person open house on the project in Bourne, most likely in May. A date has not been set.
The agency is also inviting the public to fill out an online comment form for the Cape Cod bridges.